CANDIDATE Q&A – Libby Keenan

 

The town is going through a re-branding process. How would you define what Amherstburg is and how it should be promoted?

 I would define Amherstburg as a unique community comprised of a diverse population, a large rural component, a stunning waterfront, great historical significance and many top restaurants offering several types of cuisine. I believe Amherstburg should be promoted as a community with something for everyone including businesses, home buyers, retirees, industry. For successful promotion we need to offer overnight accommodation, more organized activities for our youth and seniors and highlight the fact that we offer both a skilled and an educated work force.

 

Libby Keenan is seeking a position as a town councillor in the Oct. 22
municipal election.

 

Taxes and spending will always be election issues. What is the best way to spend money on roads and infrastructure while, at the same time, keeping taxes at a reasonable level?

I believe the best way to invest in our infrastructure is to fix the roads properly and not settle continually for patch jobs which only hold up a couple of years. This may seem an expensive approach but the doing the job properly the first time saves huge amounts of money down the road as improvements hold up much longer. We need better flooding control, spillways etc. Due to the naturally flat terrain drainage has always been and will likely always be an issue but much can be done with erosion control i.e. tree planting etc. to maintain sufficient top soil. I’m not sure tax increases can be avoided but if they are added per major project as a surcharge with the reasons clearly costed and fully explained to the public.
One of the best ways to keep taxation as low as possible is by aggressively marketing Amherstburg to industry and business thereby increasing the tax base much faster.

 

 

“Transparency” and “accountability” are words often heard during election campaigns. What specific measures would you undertake to ensure town council lives up to those words?

I would keep in camera meetings to as absolute a minimum as possible. I would press for fast and widespread notice of all public information sessions, special council meetings, regular meetings etc. I would like to see live feed taping of council meetings for residents unable to attend.
I would actively work to engage the public on a regular basis on matters of concern to residents. I would not hesitate to hold a public referendum regarding large Town purchases i.e. “real property etc.” I would like to see those real property purchases drastically reduced. I am very much in favour of the youth council plan that was put before council.

 

 

 

How would you encourage economic development for the Town of Amherstburg over the next four years (and beyond)?

I would hire an economic development officer to market the town to travel agencies, hoteliers, industries, tech start-ups and businesses.
I would encourage them to approach the University of Windsor and St. Clair College to offer classes in Amherstburg, possibly using part of the Libro Centre leased out as campus space. An economic development officer is to my mind an absolute necessity to facilitate the numerous forms of growth we should be enjoying but simply are not due to frankly insufficient marketing of our town as much other than a fun stop on a weekend. I believe we can be very much more.

 

 

 

The policing issue is still top-of-mind for some of the electorate. Is providing services on a regional level a good way to save money, a detriment to the town and its identity or would you view it on a case-by-case basis?

If we go to policing by the City of Windsor it must have value added for us. It must ensure our officers remain in our community if they want to and are not replaced by Windsor officers. Morale concerns me as there are problems regarding that in the Windsor Police Force.

 

 

 

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